Friday, September 13, 2013

Fuzzy PACS

I constantly bemoan the joys of using disks from other sites, even when they actually work. Today, I've had to deal with one that didn't quite function properly, although the fault is yet to be determined.

We had a patient who came to our GE site from a McKesson site, armed with three disks containing her imaging history. Since GE wanted $50,000 to place a dedicated CD-reader on the Centricity 3.x system, we use one of the Advantage Workstations (Version 4.3) instead to load outside studies onto our system. Most of the time, this seems to work adequately.

However, with this patient, once the data was pushed to PACS, all images, CR, CT, and MRI, came out looking like this:

I've tried changing every setting I can think of, but to no avail.

In a word, HELP!!!! Please comment below or send ideas to doctordalai (AT)

By the way, I was called upon yesterday to read a study remotely from the GE site via the old Centricity Web which has not been replaced for various reasons. Using it is an exercise in agony. Frankly, and I have told this to GE execs, it is the WORST PACS viewing software ever released. The images themselves do display properly, but it is balky, unstable, slow, and basically non-diagnostic when called upon to function as a viewer in the field. I'm asking GE to do the right thing and withdraw it from the market, replacing it at no charge with either the Dynamic Imaging PACS or the newer GE Universal viewer. Even eFilm would be a step up, and I HATE eFilm.

Rant over, for the moment. Thank you for your attention.


Father of Five said...

Dr Dalai,

We use GE PACS here and have encountered exactly the same thing. I contacted GE and they had me use their RA600 product (with a QC module installed) to make a copy of the exam. When you make a copy of the exam, it creates a new study instance UID. I was then able to successfully import the images. If you don't have an RA600 with a QC module (I wouldn't be surprised due to their high price) perhaps your staff have access to some other QC tools that can do the same thing. Good luck!

Shawn Joseph, PACS Administrator
IU Health LaPorte Hospital

stacey said...

GE wants you to use their super special super secret algorithms to massage the data, only available on their reading stations. Used to see that in Mammo all the time on GE priors on "other" workstations.

stacey said...

Here is another option for you... If you are a Life Image or See My Radiology user...load the disk to the cloud (as you would have someone do at the originating site)

Push to the cloud, then import to pacs the same way you import others from those applications. Or just view them directly on Life Image or SMR without an import.

The PACS Designer said...

Forget GE, your viewing problem will be solved another way by using the Philips Xcelera Cath Viewer. Here's the Duke website location for the download:

The viewer can be used for any PACS file with the only exception being you won't be able to see any Private Attributes.

I was the designer of this software for image viewing with the help of Duke University in the late 1990's.


Brian D Huff said...

I've had so many problems with images on CD. I've found Merge's eFilm to be the best tool to import them with. Once it's imported, you can do a dicom send to GE easily.

There's a free 30 day trial on their website.

Brian D Huff said...

I've had so many problems with images on CD. I've found Merge's eFilm to be the best tool to import them with. Once it's imported, you can do a dicom send to GE easily.

There's a free 30 day trial on their website.

Anonymous said...

From Phil:

I like PACS designers comment. Maybe I can use that.

What I (and my group) use is Osirix. Mac software (I forget if you are mac based.).
This software is used by my group and we bought macs specifically to use it to De-Babelize various stupid implementations of Dicom that the various vendors use to make their images unavailable unless you give them $$$$$$$$.
It is not guaranteed to work on everything. After all, if someone is intent on making their stuff unavailable, it CAN be done. Nevetheless, I can't recall the last time it failed.
Also - I keep it on my laptop, and use it as a viewer instead of using the viewer embedded on the CD's we get. Much faster to use something you are accustomed to. It also has 3D and image fusion, if you should need this.
To use it - I copy the raw dicom files to a folder on my desktop, and then "import" into the Osirix program, directing the software to the folder. Takes little time.

Oh - did I mention that it is free?

The PACS Designer said...

Just found out that there's an upgrade of the original Philips Xcelera Viewer and here's the link:


Unknown said...

K-PACS works pretty good and it is freeware. Use that in place of the eFilm suggestion above. We use it for all kinds of stuff.